March 6, 2020
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – A Wilfrid Laurier University professor will study how the outbreak of the novel coronavirus will impact food security in China, as well as how to improve food access and availability in China, with nearly $500,000 in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), a federal agency.
Jonathan Crush, a professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at Laurier and global migration and food security scholar at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, will work with researchers at the University of Waterloo and Nanjing University in China to examine how quarantine measures, unstable supply and fear are making access to food more challenging in China. The researchers will also examine ways to make food easier to access and work with local residents to put strategies into action.
“Laurier researchers are responding to urgent issues,” said Jonathan Newman, vice-president: research at Laurier. “Dr. Crush’s ability to establish globally relevant research networks to rapidly address emerging research needs is a testament to his skillfulness as a researcher and collaborator.”
Crush and his team of researchers will connect directly with residents in Wuhan and Nanjing, China and use data, expertise and networks developed through the Hungry Cities Partnership, an international network of cities and partner organizations that focuses on addressing food security challenges in the Global South. Crush is the director of the partnership, which was established in 2015 through grants from the International Development Research Centre and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
The team’s eventual findings are expected to be beneficial for policymakers and organizations working to improve food access in China during the coronavirus outbreak, as well as for countries that may be vulnerable to food insecurity during future outbreaks.
“By examining the relationship between the COVID-19 epidemic and the food security of populations at risk of infection, this project will make a major contribution to our understanding of how policy responses to epidemics can impact the lives and livelihoods of millions,” said Crush.
For more information about the funding, read CIHR’s news release.
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